Chelsea forward Michy Batshuayi has opened up about his frustrating spell under former Blues coach Antonio Conte, claiming that the Italian constantly contradicted himself.
The Belgian forward, who recently returned from a loan spell at Besiktas, is yet to establish himself as a regular at Stamford Bridge.
Former boss Conte supposedly had plans to use him in a two-striker system alongside Diego Costa, but the plan never materialized. The 28-year-old was used in a rotational capacity under Conte, which was a far cry from what he had been led to believe.
Speaking to Voetbal Magazine, Batshuayi shed light on the issues he had with Conte:
“Conte was constantly contradicting himself. To start with my arrival. He called me to him and explained his project by him. He wanted me to play in a two-man vanguard alongside Diego Costa. Did I believe that? Of course, because Conte has played with two attackers all his career. Except at Chelsea with me… (laughs)”
“I don’t understand. I’m sure we would have had a fantastic season together, but hey, Chelsea have won the championship so what can I say? Look, those are my frustrations. But since the club is running well, I have to keep quiet. Otherwise I’ll be the bad apple, thinking only of itself… The truth is I’ve been fooled far too many times.”
Conte won the Premier League title and the FA Cup during his time as Chelsea manager. Batshuayi has only featured in 53 games under the Italian during the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons, recording 19 goals.
Mitchy Batshuayi blames Diego Costa’s form and Alvaro Morata’s arrival for Chelsea misfortunes
Despite being a capable centre-forward, Batshuayi has not been able to prove himself as a regular starter in west London. He has had his moments for him, but they have usually been few and far between, keeping him from winning his coaches’ confidence.
According to the player, he never got a fair shot at proving his mettle at Stamford Bridge, claiming that Costa’s form and Morata’s arrival hindered his progress. Voetbal Magazine asked Batshuayi the reasons behind Romelu Lukaku’s failure, enquiring what made the club so difficult for the players to thrive at.
Here’s what he had to say:
“I can’t speak for Romelu, but as far as I’m concerned it’s clear: the problem was Diego Costa. That was never up for debate. I don’t think there was a single player at that time who could have kept him out of the squad.”
“In my second season I played an excellent preparation and then Álvaro Morata came from Real Madrid. So that became difficult again… And yet I scored every time I was in the team.”
He further added:
“It may be strange to say, but the squad was so strong that it was easy to score goals. When you play together with such top players, everything becomes easy.”
Batshuayi, whose contract with Chelsea expires in June 2023, has thus far featured in 77 games for them across competitions, scoring 25 goals and claiming six assists.